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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 9

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-17

Chapter 9

Now the burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, and all of the tribes of Israel shall be toward the LORD. And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise. Now Tyrus did build herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mud in the streets ( Zechariah 9:1-3 ).

When the city of Tyrus was under siege by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian army besieged Tyrus for thirteen years. But because they had a great port, and because the Phoenicians were ruling the seas, though Nebuchadnezzar had cut off their supplies from land, they were able to supply the city with their naval power. There is a marvelous spring right there in the city of Tyrus. So that they were able to survive a thirteen-year siege by Nebuchadnezzar. But when it looked like this pest was not going to go away, the people thought, "Well, why do we just coop ourselves up here, why not move to the island that is offshore?" So the city of Tyre was rebuilt during the thirteen years of siege, and was made an island fortress about a mile out in the Mediterranean. So that by the time the Babylonian army broke down the walls and entered into the city of Tyre, they had moved all of the wealth, and all of the riches, and all of their goods out to the island. So he received no spoil from the destruction of Tyre at all. It was sort of an empty city by the time he came in.

Now, because of their naval power, the Phoenicians became an extremely wealthy people. As Zechariah describes it here, "They heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold like mud in the streets." Alexander the Great then came through the area. He demanded that the city of Tyre capitulate. They refused to do it, and so Alexander began a seven-month battle against the city of Tyre, in which, after seven months he finally took it. When he took the city of Tyre, down to the south, the area of the Philistines, they were so frightened, actually, by Alexander's taking of Tyre, they thought, "If that powerful city fell to this man, surely we cannot stand." Most of them just sort of surrendered to Alexander the Great, and he conquered all of the cities of the southern coastal plains of Israel.

Now Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem on several occasions, but he never did attack the city. In fact, he gave animals to the priests and said, "Offer them to your God for me." Alexander the Great had a strange occultish, religious experience, but he did reverence other religions. He did reverence the Jewish faith and religion and did not attack Jerusalem at all. It would seem that this particular prophecy in the first part here of chapter 9 is a reference to the coming of Alexander the Great and conquering this territory. The territory of Syria, and then of Lebanon, and then on south into the coastal plains of Israel. So, "Tyrus did build herself a stronghold, heaped up the silver as dust, fine gold as the mud in the streets."

Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; [Interesting, of course at this time they'd already built the island fortress.] and she shall be devoured with fire ( Zechariah 9:4 ).

Of course, Alexander the Great burned the city of Tyre to the ground after he conquered it, because of the fact that they dared to defy him.

Now the southern coastal cities:

Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines ( Zechariah 9:5-6 ).

So the Philistines were destroyed and cut off by Alexander the Great.

And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. And I will encamp about mine house because of the army ( Zechariah 9:7-8 ),

So God is saying, "I will more or less be the defense."

because of him that passes by ( Zechariah 9:8 ),

That's all Alexander the Great did, he passed by. He did not take Jerusalem.

and because of him that returneth [back and forth]: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes ( Zechariah 9:8 ).

Now the latter part of the prophecy goes out to the Kingdom Age.

Now in verse Zechariah 9:9 we have a remarkable prophecy concerning Jesus Christ that is quoted by Matthew. But it is interesting to notice how the Holy Spirit quotes this prophecy in Matthew. The significance is that which was left out.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, upon a colt the foal of an ass ( Zechariah 9:9 ).

So here is the prophecy of the coming King. He is lowly; He is riding on an ass, upon the colt, the foal of an ass. This was fulfilled, of course, in what we call the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem when He came down the Mount of Olives, riding on this colt upon which no man had ever ridden before. The disciples took their coats and placed them in their path, and they waved palm branches, crying, "Hosanna, hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." Psalm 118 , the Messianic Psalm.

Now, Matthew says, "This was done in order that the scripture might be fulfilled saying, 'Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee.'" But Matthew did not quote this next part. "He is just, and having salvation," but he jumped that phrase, and quoted, "He is lowly, riding upon an ass, upon the colt the foal of an ass." Why didn't Matthew quote, "He is just, and having salvation"? Because in the first coming, Jesus did not establish the kingdom.

When Jesus comes again, He is coming, first of all, in righteousness to judge the earth. "He is just." The coming to judge is yet future. So that is why it is not quoted by Matthew in the first coming of Jesus. That awaits the second coming when Jesus establishes His throne and gathers together the nations of the earth for judgment. It is then when the promise of salvation will be to the Jews and to the world. So, "He is just and having salvation," that day is not yet come. Matthew significantly does not quote that part of this prophecy. But Jesus did come even as Zechariah described, riding upon the colt.

The Lord declares:

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, the horse from Jerusalem, the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the eaRuth ( Zechariah 9:10 ).

There are many promises in the Old Testament concerning the reign, the coming reign of Jesus Christ. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. The government shall be upon His shoulders, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. And of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David to order it, and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment henceforth, even for ever. For the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this" ( Isaiah 9:6-7 ). This is that time when the Rock not cut with hands smites the great image of man's government and brings an end to man's futile efforts to govern man. And the Rock grows into a mountain that covers the earth, the glorious coming kingdom of Jesus Christ that will cover the earth. And then shall be fulfilled Psalm 2 , "Ask of Me, and I will give to Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession." His kingdom shall be from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the world. Oh, I can hardly wait as I look at the poor governments of the world today struggling. Getting more expensive all the time, and failing to bring real peace, real justice, real hope for man. Oh, Jesus, come quickly. Establish Your righteous kingdom.

As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Turn to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope ( Zechariah 9:11-12 ):

Interesting that He speaks of the blood of His covenant. Of course, that's what Jesus established through His death, the blood of thy covenant. These prisoners who were in the pit, in the abusso, were freed, or they were actually in Gehenna.

Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, raised up the bows O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south. And the LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with the sling stones, and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as the ensign upon his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, new wine the maids ( Zechariah 9:12-17 ).

God's glorious Kingdom Age, and as we see the Lord reigning it will be declared, "How great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!" "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/zechariah-9.html. 2014.
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